If you’re attending FRI in Charlotte, NC July 27 – 29 visit our booth, # 2104, to see how Emergency Reporting is developing more robust products, faster than ever before.
Emergency Reporting (ER) Development recently participated in an exploratory Engineering sprint – two weeks of innovation and collaboration meant to inspire, explore, and discover ever better ways of developing products for our Fire/EMS customers. Given the relatively short period of time, each team chose a reasonably sized project and got to work. Front end code was the theme this sprint, as the majority of developers focused on using React [https://facebook.github.io/react/], a UI building tool open sourced by Facebook. Each team did amazing work, but I’d like to focus on the work done by my team to build a small yet functional Progressive Web App (PWA).
A PWA is a web application like most of us are used to. You go to a URL and interact with the page just like you would a normal web app or web page, however a PWA has optimizations that most web apps don’t. PWAs are guaranteed to be served over a secure connection (HTTPS), which means your data is safer over the wire. They are faster to load by using modern day caching patterns, and focusing on small payloads from servers.
One of the more interesting aspects of a PWA is its ability to be added to your home screen – much like an App Store installation, without the middleman of the Play Store or Apple Store. The biggest benefit here is that updates to the app can be pushed to your device each time you load the app with no extra effort on your part. We always want our products to be as easy as possible for you to use, on any device.
Lastly, and most importantly, PWAs are reliable. Using caching patterns and new browser APIs, PWAs can load instantly in either online or offline settings. That’s another goal of ours – to make your work life easier.
Given all the strengths of a PWA and a limited amount of time, the team met to determine what we could build that would be useful for our customers, to leverage all the strengths and new features of a Progressive Web App, and still finish in our two week cycle.
The app, which is currently in Beta mode, was finished successfully in the two-week sprint. A member of our team, Graham, will be at FRI in Charlotte, NC next week to demonstrate it, and answer any questions about what this technology means for the future of Emergency Reporting. If you are attending, please stop by booth # 2104 to learn more.